1. Know your product/service
Know it inside and out, backwards and forwards. You should know its strengths, weaknesses, and any proprietary features. Also understand the factors that influence its supply and demand. All of these will strengthen your presentation and help the skeptic make a more informed purchasing decision. There should be nothing that anyone can tell you about what you solicit. You will definitely be asked questions, so be prepared to demonstrate all aspects of your product/service in response.
2. Know your prospect
Along with knowing your product comes knowing your prospect. Strive to know all you can about your target demographic and potential clients. Make sure you deal with the decision maker. You should know their purchasing habits, what motivation determines their choice, and how long a buying decision takes. You must understand how your product fits into their overall purchasing strategy. When you know the buying habits of your prospect, you can use it to develop a longer-term sales planâ€”that means repeat business. Put yourself in the most favorable position to get a "yes" by focusing on what most concerns your prospect.
3. Believe in your own words
You will never be effective selling something you do not believe in, particularly to someone who is already skeptical. Your lack of enthusiasm will be an obvious as you attempt to convince your potential buyer. When you emanate passion and confidence, you break down the wall of doubt the cynic has built. To not be a pillar of strength during your presentation is a sure-fire ticket to an abrupt "no." If you are lucky enough to sell a product you do not believe in, you still lose because you risk killing referral business and losing the trust of your customer.
4. Be transparent
Too often, we give strong pitches with lots of hype and little information. We will say, "If you want these benefits, buy my product." This is done with the hope that a prospect's curiosity about your bold claims will be enough to convince them to purchase. The idea that if you divulge too much information, you could dissuade your prospect is a far too common falsehood. Be prepared to give as much information as needed to convince the potential buyer to make a purchase. Transparency builds trust. Things people do not understand will always be greeted with "no." The more information available when making a purchasing decision, the more likely they are to say "yes." Another benefit of being transparent is the more resources you divulge free of charge, the more likely you are to generate interest in your product/service.
5. Gain trust by associating yourself with things they respect
By offering endorsements and testimonials, especially from well-known sources that your target market respects, you strike the chord of "trust." Many a skeptic has purchased based on the recommendations of individuals they respect. Secure associations along these lines and look to align yourself with trusted agencies through strategic partnerships. Major endorsements mean less resistance and lots of sales.
6. Offer a free trial, incentive, bargain, or guarantee
The structure of your offer can play a key role in building trust and enticing your prospect to buy. There are many variations of each, but incentives and guarantees are great ways to gain your potential buyer's confidence. Guarantees and free trails allow the skeptic to try the product/service before determining if your offer is a good fit. Incentives and discounts are also valuable tactics as they make the cynic feel they are getting a value. People always love the feeling of getting something for free and buying when it is a low/no-risk transaction. By guaranteeing the quality of your product/service, you disarm the skeptic and encourage them to buy. You also communicate an important message that you are confident in what you sell.
7. Compare and differentiate yourself from your competitors
Know the nature of your business. Is it commodity based, where the low price bidder wins? Is the strength of your brand a factor? Is there something unique about your offer? You must understand your competitors and their advantages and disadvantages. Once you have both the knowledge of your competitors and an understanding of the skeptic's needs, you can choose the most effective marketing angle. We offer such phrases as:
"The lowest cost"â€¦you play to the desire for value
"The official"â€¦you validate for authenticity
"The best"â€¦you show superiority
"The only"â€¦you offer exclusivity
If possible, demonstrate the differences that make your product/service unique or superior.
8. Sell the relationship, not the product
Contrary to popular belief, the best salespeople not only close deals, they foster relationships. Relationships are more valuable to both you and the prospect than a one-time transaction. For the salesperson, relationships bring repeat business and the ability to cross-market your offerings; increased referra
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